How to Clear a New Tarot Deck

Quick and easy ways to clear your tarot deck.

Last week I got a new tarot deck and a friend asked me what you do to clear it.  She had heard a lot of the weird rules that seem to have made their way all over the internet.

I wanted to write about it and clear the air. 

So many resources say things like your first deck needs to be gifted to you (it doesn’t). People need to touch the cards in order for you to read them (they don’t). Or that you need to sleep with a new deck under your pillow when you first buy it (you don’t…unless you love it so much that you really want to).

This is a question I get a lot from newer readers and it brings up a good topic for today’s blog.  

How do you clear a new tarot deck?

You can start just by taking the deck out and separating the cards a bit and looking at each one.  This is a great way to get acquainted with a new deck. It’s rare that you get to see every card before owning the deck so this is a wonderful way to see if any of the art trips you up or if there’s any card depictions you really love.  

Once you feel confident that the cards are not too stuck together and that you’re pretty comfortable with the art,  you can break out whatever type of clearing items you use. If you like to burn cedar, or sage (I like mugwort, or lavender, but you can use whatever is in your lineage).  If smoke clearing is not your thing, you can use Selenite to charge your deck or a Selenite wand to clear all sides of the deck.

Then, you can hold the deck to your heart and set an intention for it.  So for example, if you are just planning to read for yourself you can say something like “May this deck bring guidance and clarity for my highest and best good”. If you are planning to read a lot for other people, you can set the intention of clarity for the highest and best good of yourself and others.

Then, you are good to go. Just give the deck a very good shuffle to get started.

If you want to take things one step further, you can interview the deck to get an idea of what kind of work it might be good for.  

For example, some people find that one deck works better for reading for other people than it does for reading for yourself.  You may also find that certain decks are great for light, joyful readings but not as good with handling heavy emotional energy.

So how do you go about interviewing your deck?

Meditate with the deck in hand and focus on some good questions to ask.  Ask your guides and angels to send through the clearest messages to trigger your intuition.

Then write out three to five questions to ask your deck.

Some questions I have used are:

What are the strengths of reading with this deck?

What are the limitations of this deck?

What can I learn from this deck?

What is the best way to work with this deck?

What best represents the energy of this deck?

What card defines our collaboration?

These types of questions will give you a good idea of what strengths and limitations a certain deck might have for you.

I do actually have a standard Smith-Rider Waite Deck that I only use to read for myself or teach people. It doesn’t work as well when I use it to read for others.  It works best if I just use it for myself, so I do. (You will notice I post pictures of this deck but never for card pick days).

In between uses you can keep the cards in your bag or somewhere you will have easy access to them. There are a lot of rules written up about storage, too.  I think it’s nice to store them in a safe place if you can but if you are going through a lot or you travel with your deck, it’s not as practical. When I’m not using my cards I usually keep them on a shelf in my reading room with a crystal of some kind sitting on top.

Everything I have given here is just a suggestion of what to do. Ultimately you can follow your own intuition as to how to best break in a deck for yourself.

I hope this post helps bring some inspiration and direction to your practice and I would love to hear about it in the comments.  Please feel free to share your experience or what methods work best for you.